Monday, June 24, 2024

Netanyahu vows to move on “judicial reforms”; Israelis hold massive rallies

Israeli demonstrators kept up their months-old protests against the government's judicial overhaul Saturday for the 25th week in a row, days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to press on with the controversial reforms.

Brandishing banners reading “Israel is burning” and deeming Netanyahu an “enemy of democracy”, demonstrators filled the heart of the commercial hub of Tel Aviv.

While there was no immediate turnout figure, the weekly rallies have regularly drawn tens of thousands.

Demonstrators have been protesting since January against the government’s proposals to weaken the Supreme Court and grant politicians more powers in the selection of judges.

After a brief general strike prompted the government to halt the legislation in March, Netanyahu vowed on Sunday to get the reform package back on track and “begin the practical measures”.

His announcement, lacking in detail, came after opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz pulled out of cross-party talks on the reform.

Netanyahu returned to power in December at the head of a coalition with ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right parties.

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